The Prince of Wales rekindled the traditional link between the Royal Family and the Ideal Home Show by visiting the official ‘Prince’s House’ which had been built specially for this year’s event.
The three bedroomed, detached "Prince's House' was the centre piece of this year's show at London's Earls Court to represent his vision of environmentally-friendly and energy-saving living in the modern world.
The house was a traditionally built low carbon home made from natural materials. Inside the exhibition hall, His Royal Highness was shown around the two-storey Prince's House by television property experts and ambassadors for the charity Kirstie Allsopp and George Clarke.
The Prince appeared particularly taken with the crockery featuring dogs, exclaiming "I love that", and also the red dinner place mats made from old fire hoses. Inside, the house contained cushions made from old T-shirts and re-upholstered chairs made from recycled linen, as well as vintage furniture.
After their tour, Ms Allsopp spoke about The Prince's interest in the project. She said: "He'd seen the blueprint. It was the first time he'd seen it in 3-D as it were, but was very aware of what was going on the whole way through and he'd been to Watford to see the prototype of the house.
"He loved it. What he particularly liked was all the different re-upholstered items and reuse of fabric. He was very impressed by the fact you could take something made for a different purpose and make it domestically useful."
She added: "It's what The Prince has been so passionate about for so long and yet it is at the moment enormously fashionable."
The Prince made unscheduled stops at the show's stands and happily leapt into the back of a London taxi which has been converted into a mobile photo-booth by www.megabooth.com.
Greeted by our very own Lee Newton and Richard Morey, as well as Hank Dittmar, CEO of the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, in the first Royal visit to the Ideal Home Show since 1988, His Royal Highness spoke to organisers, contributors, sponsors and exhibitors throughout the event.
The Prince also met with Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, Chief Executive of the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, to discuss the work being carried out by the ‘Ideal Homes for Heroes’ Appeal. He also signed a "wall of support" for the charity expression his 'admiration' for the efforts of the charity.
It is the first time since 1935 that a ’royal’ house has been built at the annual show, when a brick-built home was presented to King George V by the Royal Warrant Holders to mark his silver jubilee.
Following a private VIP reception with all contributors to the house, the Prince of Wales joined Garden designers and Ideal Home Show Ambassadors Diarmuid Gavin and David Domony to present the ‘Young Garden Designer of the Year’ Award to the successful winning College.
The competition, launched earlier this year invited six colleges from around the UK to enter into the first annual Ideal Home Show ‘Young Gardeners of the Year’ in association with the Prince’s Foundation for the Built environment. The aim of the competition was to highlight the very best examples of sustainable practice in British garden design amongst student designers.
Lee Newton Managing Director of Media 10 commented: “It was a pleasure to have His Royal Highness in attendance today. The Ideal Home Show is Britain’s favourite home event, and has traditionally held a strong link with the Royal family, so we are proud to be able to return the show to its heritage, in 2011.’